Enough is never enough. For all those who are forever seeking a little bit more, KTM has created the 500 EXC. And here we thought it couldn’t get any better...

The KTM 500 EXC is packed with perfectly controllable power in extravagant proportions, low weight, and an unsurpassed chassis, characterizing an enduro of remarkable versatility. To put it simply: the KTM 500 EXC is a sensational fighting machine and a reliable workhorse all rolled into one.

For the 2012 model, the 500 EXC has a new 500cc 1-cylinder 4-stroke, water-cooled engine that has been redesigned from scratch and is now more compact, lighter, and more powerful than before. The engine has also been equipped with a common oil circuit for engine and transmission, and two oil pumps. A pressure pump lubricates the engine, while a suction pump draws oil from the crankcase, using it to lubricate the transmission and the clutch. At the same time, and in conjunction with a steel diaphragm, negative pressure arises in the casing, further boosting the bike’s already flexed up engine power. On top of the 500 EXC’s impressive powertrain set-up, the bike also has a newly developed clutch that comes with a robust steel cage and transmission-friendly back-damping.

As far as its handling characteristics are concerned, the 500 EXC was built with a completely revamped frame made from high-quality chrome-molybdenum steel. Furthermore, the new frame is even better at absorbing jolts introduced by the suspension system, whereby the simple handling and comfort of the 500 EXC has been further optimized. In addition, a new and lighter cast aluminum swingarm accommodates the shock absorber more centrally while a 7 mm longer PDS shock absorber with adjustable rebound and high/low-speed compression damping provides even more progression to what is already an all-world enduro machine.

Find out more about the KTM 500 EXC after the jump.

  • 2012 KTM 500 EXC
  • Year:
    2012
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
  • Transmission:
    6 gear, claw shifted
  • Energy:
    Keihin engine management system with electronic fuel injection
  • Displacement:
    510 cc
  • Price:
    9499

Engine

2012 KTM 500 EXC Drivetrain
- image 435505

With the 500 EXC’s newly developed engine, KTM engineers have created a new dimension: The power unit has been redesigned from scratch and is now more compact, lighter and more powerful than before. Reduced reciprocating weight and a balancer shaft minimize vibration.

All ports and the combustion chamber have been redesigned in the OHC cylinder head of the 500 EXC’s new engine. The new camshaft actuates four valves via lightweight rocker arms. High-quality titanium valves are used on the intake side. As before, the cylinder head cover mounted at an angle simplifies service work.

The 500 EXC’s cylinder has been further developed especially for the new engine configuration. The new, 15 % lighter forged piston minimizes reciprocating weight and optimizes durability at high engine speeds. New, nitrided piston rings ensure highest levels of resistance to wear.

When designing the new crankshaft on the 450 EXC, KTM engineers focused on reducing the reciprocating weight. Thanks to the new, lighter connecting rod and the new, lighter piston, they managed to achieve minimum vibration, while maximizing engine-speed strength.

The 500 EXC’s new engine case weighs almost 2 kg less than its predecessor, although it offers better resistance to damage due to stone impact or falls. This has been achieved by using a high-strength, elastic aluminum alloy and changing from sand-casting to die-casting.

The newly developed Keihin engine management system with electronic fuel injection ensures spontaneous responsiveness from the engine. Various engine characteristics can be activated with an optional map select switch.

Chassis and Suspension

2012 KTM 500 EXC High Resolution Exterior
- image 435503

The completely revamped frame made from high-quality chrome-molybdenum steel is characterized by even greater lateral stiffness. Furthermore, it is even better at absorbing jolts introduced by the suspension system, whereby the simple handling and comfort of the 500 EXC have been further optimized.

The 450 EXC’s new, lighter, cast aluminum swingarm accommodates the shock absorber more centrally, in order to load the swing arms more evenly. The new, 7 mm longer PDS shock absorber with adjustable rebound and high/low-speed compression damping, and a new setting is installed more flatly, so providing even more progression.

The 500 EXC is equipped with the latest WP upside-down fork with wider adjustment ranges and a new setting. The sensitive responsiveness and outstanding damping of the open-cartridge fork with 48 mm outer tubes are a perfect complement for the 500 EXC’s simple handling and precision.

New Wheels

2012 KTM 500 EXC High Resolution Exterior
- image 435501

Practically unbeatable in terms of weight and stability, the new wheels have CNC-machined hubs, Excel rims, zinc/nickel-coated spokes and aluminum nipples. They reduce the unsprung and gyroscopic masses, hence bolstering the simple handling of the 500 EXC.

New Silencer

2012 KTM 500 EXC High Resolution Exterior
- image 435498

The 500 EXC’s new, improved silencer not only offers greater volume and a new design, it also reduces noise levels to the stricter standards of the future.

Bodywork

2012 KTM 500 EXC High Resolution Exterior
- image 435504

The 500 EXC’s new bodywork with the very slim seat and spoiler lines, plus excellent contact points, perfects the bike’s ergonomics, making handling even simpler and more precise. The longer rear fender protects the rider even more effectively from swirled up stones.

Specifications

2012 KTM 500 EXC High Resolution Exterior
- image 435509
Design 1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
Displacement 510.4 cm³
Bore 95 mm
Stroke 72 mm
Starting aid Electric starter/Kickstarter
Final Drive Chain
Engine lubrication Forced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Primary gear ratio 32:76
Cooling system Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch / hydraulically operated
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment, type Kokusan
Frame Central tube frame made of chrome molybdenum steel tubing
Forks WP Suspension Up Side Down 4860 MXMA PA
Shock absorber WP Suspension PDS 5018 DCC
Suspension travel Front 300 mm
Suspension travel Rear 335 mm
Brake system Disc brakes, brake calipers on floating bearings
Brake discs - diameter Front 260 mm
Brake discs - diameter Rear 220 mm
Chain 5/8 x 1/4"
Steering head angle 63.5°
Wheelbase 1,482±10 mm
Ground clearance unloaded 345 mm
Seat height unloaded 970 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 9 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel, approx. 112.5 kg

Quotes

Total Motorcycle----"The 500 EXC is "ready to race " for the world’s largest enduro competition, the "International Six Days Enduro". Six days in succession, over a thousand offroad kilometers, 40 hours in the saddle - a grueling test, not only for the rider. A whole package of high-quality special options makes the 500 EXC fit for this ruthless contest, in which more than half the starters bank on KTM every year. 500 EXC Six Days - the genuine article with the orange powder-coated frame of the KTM Factory Team."

Practically unbeatable in terms of weight and stability, the new wheels have CNC-machined hubs, Excel rims, zinc/nickel-coated spokes and aluminum nipples. They reduce the unsprung and gyroscopic masses, hence bolstering the simple handling of the 500 EXC.

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